General Best Practices

Have at least two social media managers

  • We require every account to have a primary and secondary manager.
  • Having two-deep management means there is a back-up available if someone is out of the office or unavailable.
  • Account managers don’t have to be responsible for creating all the content for an account – in fact, encouraging others to contribute can help to build a more vibrant channel that reflects your organization. However, the managers should make sure the content builds on the ongoing strategy for the channel.

Be accurate

It takes time to build trust with an audience, and misinformation can erode that trust very quickly. Always verify that information you are posting is accurate. It’s better to take that time to be sure than to have to post a correction or delete a post later. Whenever possible, cite and link to your sources to build transparency. Remember to spell-check – if you post and you see an error, it’s okay to pull it down if you find it quickly to repost. And if you don’t catch it that quickly, be transparent, admit the error and correct it.   

Be transparent

Social audiences expect a high level of transparency from healthcare and educational institutions. Be open and honest with your audiences. By being available, helpful and friendly, you’ll build trust with our users. If you don’t have the answers, let them know you’ll find out and follow up with them. If there are reasons you can’t, such as patient and student privacy, let them know. 

Be timely and active

Account managers should regularly monitor postings and content. Build a calendar for managing the content you create and when to post it that keeps your audiences engaged. The calendar will help in deciding how often to post to your channels.

Be accessible

UF Health is committed to making our digital content accessible. Please follow our guidelines on how to create content that can be accessed by all of our audiences.

Be respectful

UF Health encourages freedom of expression. We recognize the value of diverse opinions. Users are free to discuss topics and disagree with one another. Do not engage in an argument with a user on social media. Be constructive and respectful – remember that you represent UF Health and the university. Your responses should reflect that.

Delete comments only when necessary

It can be hard to determine the tone in which a post is written. Try to assume the best possible motive when a comment is ambiguous. You will receive negative comments. It is okay to leave those posts – it’s part of being transparent. If a user posts material that is profane, libelous, obscene, threatening, abusive, harassing, hateful or defamatory, you reserve the right as a manager to remove or hide that content. In those rare cases, be sure to follow our guidelines on how to document the issue.

Be responsible and thoughtful

Managing an official UF Health channel is a great opportunity. You share a responsibility in communicating how we contribute every day to a greater good. This means you have a greater responsibility than average users in what you post on social media. Realize that there can be consequences for things that you post. Once you post, that content can instantly be shared all over the world, so be sure before you post. If you have a concern or want a second opinion, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our social team. We’re always glad to take a look and offer advice.

Always listen

  • Listen to what your audience is posting and what they are saying about you. This can help you know how to best reach and connect with them in order to reach your goals.
  • Listen to your peers and competitors – by observing their successes, you might discover useful things you can improve about your own accounts.

Help support your social community

Our accounts support each other. Look for ways you can help share interesting content from your college, your partners and more. By looking for opportunities to elevate our each other, we build a stronger appreciation for the width and breadth of UF Health and the University of Florida.

Know the rules

Become familiar with UF Health’s policies on social media use, consents, and photography and video usage in our health care facilities. Keep up with your platform’s terms of service as well. Pay attention for updates – we’ll let you know when we learn of a change, but sometimes social platforms pivot quickly. If you discover a change, let us know and we’ll share with the community.

Keep private things private

UF and UF Health respects and honors the privacy of our students and patients. Be vigilant and aware of HIPAA and FERPA privacy requirements. If you have a question about these requirements, contact the UF Health social team.

Follow copyright and fair use laws, including university copyrights and brands. Always attribute work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others’ work rather than reproduce it.

Adhere to the UF Health and UF Branding Standards

We encourage social media accounts to follow our branding guidelines. Clinical accounts should follow UF Health branding standards. Academic accounts should follow UF Branding guidelines. When possible, accounts should reflect either UF Health or UF as part of the names. UF Health Social and Creative Services can provide guidance regarding graphics and design.

Stay on target

Be conscious of the time you spend on social media. It’s easy to get distracted and lose focus – social media is designed to encourage you to click and read further! Make sure to set time limits so it doesn’t interfere with your other job duties.

Practice self-care

Managing a social media account can be rewarding, but it can also create a lot of stress. You and your content are put into a public spotlight, and at times can attract negative comments, often unwarranted. It can be difficult at times not to take those comments personally. Take the time to find a balance – we do not expect you to manage your accounts 24/7. Reach out to our team if you ever need support – there are also several different social media groups on campus that can help offer advice.